The New York Times recently published a piece on worker burnout that we’re pretty sure everyone can relate to. Here’s the thing—for some reason, office culture is such that breaks of any kind are often frowned upon, and yet ceaseless working is not shown to optimize productivity. Instead, it has the opposite effect on our ability to focus and be efficient. “Restfulness and recharging can take a backseat to the perception and appearance of productivity,” the article states. “But a growing field of occupational and psychological research is building the case for restfulness in pursuit of greater productivity.”
The best way to recharge, one expert says, is by unplugging early and getting a solid night of sleep. Since this is basically impossible to achieve when you factor in your commute, some sort of workout, dinner and, one hopes, a moment or two of actual life-living with someone you love, his second best suggestion is to nap while at work. One study showed 30-minute naps halt declines in performance while 60-minute naps actually reverse performance deterioration. “Naps had the same magnitude of benefits as full nights of sleep if they had a specific quality,” said Sara Mednick, a co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside.
Apparently, there’s a word in Japanese for “sleeping while present”—inemuri—which is something we’ve always done at work but usually our eyes are open while we’re doing it, and we don’t feel all that rested afterward. To do it right, you must actually find a quiet place to cuddle up where you won’t be disturbed, utilize a sleep mask and earplugs and try to snooze for no longer than 20 minutes. We’re thinking our car might be the siesta spot of choice, the only danger being that we might, once outside of work and ready to rest, just drive home to bed instead.